New mix from and interview with Bai-ee for volume 17 of A 5 Mag Mix, our flagship House Music mix and interview series for 5 Magazine.
From the Bay Area by way of Chicago, Bai-ee is one of the beautiful people that bring you Housepitality and the labels audioJazz and SS Records. It’s been awhile since he last did a mix for us, so let’s roll it back and hit record again.
Our full interview with Bai-ee follows the mix below.
Previously in A 5 Mag Mix: Nonfiction, Victor Simonelli, Dave Allison, Luke Solomon, Tyree Cooper, Till Von Sein, Groove Junkies, DJ E-Clyps, Henry Street Music founder Johnny D., Jeremy Sylvester, DJ Godfather, Mr. Mendel, Naeem & Gusto, Parris Mitchell, Zernell and Kool Vibe.
1) Jose Padilla | Lollipop (I:Cube RMX) | International Feel
2) Bjak | Keep it Movin | Bucketround
3) Brian Harden | Light Essence | Perpetual Rhythms
4) Garrett David & Adam Rowe | Sound Space | Stripped & Chewed
5) Hamza | Cielo
6) Scrubfish | Blue Eyes | Lutefisk Records
7) B. Rich & C. Simmonds | Pro-T-Us | Cross Section Records
8) Upswing Dubs (aka Alex Agore) | All the Time | Closer to Truth
9) Format B | Chunky (Club Mix) Edit
10) Legwork | Mean to Me | Legwork Records
11) Sean Smith | Acid Sunday | Smooth Agent Rec
12) JP Soul | You Want Her | ROAM Rec
13) Manuel Sahagun | Memories | Tooman Rec
14) Frique | Are You Here for the Music (Bai-ee’s Caravan RMX Inst.) | Lea Music
15) Hot Plate | Steve (Kid Enigma RMX) | Concise Music
16) Bret Relish | Sum (Rubb Sound System RMX) | Chicago Jaxxx
17) Translucent | Sensation Rmx
18) Nakt | Virex
19) The Loose Control Band | Yea | Acid Ahora
20) Ed Nine | Timeless | Groove Access
21) Unknown | Cover Ups Vol 2
How has Housepitality been going since we last spoke?
The HousePit is growing… New, young faces are pouring in, mixing with regulars and increasing overall numbers. This has allowed us not only to continue booking aggressively (touring talents both established and obscure), but to help guide certain young individuals on club etiquette. People know they can come to us on any Wednesday and be subjected to world class talent. We now want to assure attendees that we provide an equally classy and safe environment. We are taking a visible stance on how to keep your hands to yourself and not approach the opposite sex like Tinder was your first foray into dating (as recognized most recently by Mutek’s similar support for the “Consent is Sexy” campaign). There has always been an issue with this and we want to confront it face-to-face. Things are going very positively.
I’ve never been, but you manage to cover kind of the whole House Music demographic in terms of your bookings for it, don’t you?
Headliners, openers and side-room talents are a direct reflection of the diversity we have amongst our resident DJs. It takes a combined effort to keep things fresh when curating a weekly like Housepitality. Miguel Solari does a great job approving and challenging the different ideas we all bring to the table (and vice-versa). It also speaks to the original concept of the night, that House Music is an umbrella genre (as well as being hospitable to both our guests behind the decks and in front).
“People have to move away from Chicago to go to the next level in their careers.” Do you agree with this statement?
No. I tend to think that a change in scenery is good for any struggling artist that’s engulfed by the politics of any one cities scene… especially when feeling held back by it. It is also very obvious that you don’t have to be a hometown hero to see success on a larger scale.
I will say that it is frustrating to see established clubs/promoters constantly allowing themselves to be dictated to by European markets, cliques and social media to let them know who is bubbling up in their own back yard. There is a balance that needs to be hit, we need to be educating them as well. Those kinds of roadblocks exists everywhere in my experience. Moving away from Chicago just gives yourself a chance to be exposed to a different audience and that’s a good thing.
You’ve been a strong supporter of vinyl in terms of your own labels. You’re also a pretty thoughtful guy. Where do you see the vinyl “movement” in dance music going?
There is a lot of niche music being released that just doesn’t expose itself to the right audience via digital boutiques. If you have a label releasing tracks that focuses on some of the contemporary sounds of the day, then maybe vinyl doesn’t make sense for you. A large segment of your audience probably exists within those digital boutiques.
This is not mine nor many other labels’ audiences (or sound). Some of us aim to make music that grows legs and can be appreciated down the road vs. blow up top 10s over the same weekend it was released digitally. When your whole sound is based on modernizing past experiences, without including excessive white noise, big drops or trendy baselines, you have to give your music a chance to breathe… to be discoverable and ultimately appreciated down the road. Vinyl allows for that and unless digital music somehow becomes tangible, the “movement” will continue.
If you had a model for audioJazz, what is it? I mean in terms of labels/companies that have come before.
Not so much at all. Until SS Records was established, audioJazz Music was a completely organic label and included a healthy amount of tech-inspired tunes as well as deep and “heavy” house. So initially creative output, financial flexibility and whenever I could get a project back from press dictated strategy. I am just now finding myself becoming more calculated as these labels have naturally established their own identities.
What do you have coming up?
Tyrel Williams and I continue to work relentlessly, experimenting, recording, curating and refining the sound of Secret Studio and SS Records. We are starting to release some of that effort including our 5th release, SCS04 & 05 (Josh Elle’s and our own Secret Studio debut EP), both will soon be available. At Housepitality DJ Three, Anthony Shakir and Eddie C will all be gracing the decks in November.